Constitutional History Colloquium

B760 is taught by S. Conrad

This course samples historical perspectives on some of the key themes in our current so-called "Culture Wars, in particular, the contested meanings of eleven selected key words in our national public discourse that are variously taken to signify fundamental American public "values." Thus, the course is organized to address, in turn: republicanism, liberalism, democracy, liberty, equality, rights, private property, religion, Christianity, family, and citizenship. And, while there will be discussion in class of how the meaning of each of these words is debated today -- for example, in our daily newspapers and in recent judicial opinions -- nevertheless, the emphasis of the course will routinely be on the contested meanings of these words at the time of the late eighteenth-century American "Founding." The course satisfies the "Advanced Writing Requirement."